Terry has been reading The Way The Light Bends by Lorraine Wilson.
4 out of 5 stars
An interesting and unusual book that centres around two sisters: the unconventional, wildhearted Tamsin who cannot come to terms with the death of her twin brother, Rob, and perfect Freya, the older sibling with the perfect husand and perfect job. Then, a year after Rob’s death, Tamsin disappears without trace, as does her boyfriend, a curious and shadowy figure about whom nobody knows anything much at all.
The book is written in two time frames, and from two points of view – Tamsin tells her story in the first person, gradually letting the reader into the turmoil in her mind, and showing what led up to her disappearance. Freya’s sections are told in the third person – these are good choices, just right for the story. Freya’s account shows her own, deepening turmoil as she grieves for Rob and becomes obsessed with finding Tamsin; she feels increasingly isolated, and begins to question everything about the way her family lives.
The setting is Scotland; Perth, St Andrews and a couple of other locations. Tamsin and her friends worked in the grounds of old country house, and ran ‘forest schools’ for children; I loved all the detail about this. The novel is beautifully written and flows so well.
Any negatives? Sometimes I felt the descriptive passages were a little long-winded, when I wanted to get on with the story and find out what Tamsin’s mysterious boyfriend was all about, and I was underwhelmed by the ending, which I thought a little wishy-washy after the build-up, but I did enjoy reading this book; much of the prose has an almost poetic, ethereal quality to it, reflecting the subject matter, and certainly the author should be proud of it.
Sometimes hope is the most dangerous thing of all.
When their brother dies, two sisters lose the one thing that connected them. But then a year after her twin’s death, Tamsin goes missing.
Despite police indifference and her husband’s doubts, Freya is determined to find her sister. But a trail of diary entries reveals a woman she barely knew, and a danger she can scarcely fathom, full of deep waters and shadowy myths, where the grief that drove Tamsin to the edge of a cliff also led her into the arms of a mysterious stranger … A man who promised hope but demanded sacrifice.
Barb has been reading One For The Money by D.B. Borton
What this book isn’t. In its original release, D.B. Barton’s One For The Money came out about six months before the Janet Evanovich blockbuster of the same title, although both star tough women just starting new careers in male-dominated fields (private investigator and bounty hunter). Both are set in pre-cellphone days, and neither woman is the least bit interested in baking cupcakes or knitting.
What this book is, though, is a frequently funny, fast-paced coming-of-age detective story where the one growing up is a woman in her fifties who has been what everyone else expected and is finally ready to be herself. Catherine—Cat to her friends and really…everyone except her husband and his friends—Caliban has finally figured out what she wants to be when she grows up. A detective.
Her grandson Ben objects that detectives don’t have white hair. Her two older children are appalled (although her youngest does offer to exchange the monogrammed hankies she had been intending as a birthday present for a secondhand semi-automatic). Her husband Fred says nothing at all because he’s dead, and because he stopped paying attention to her about twenty years earlier, which Cat verified by taking up swearing.
One day I got the impression that Fred hadn’t been listening to me for a while. Say, twenty years. So I thought I’d try a little verbal variety to see if he’d notice.
Without much further notice, Fred quietly drops dead, freeing Cat to finally get a life. From there, she purchases an apartment building in a working-class neighborhood as income hedge against the vicissitudes of the detective biz, buys a copy of The Landlord’s Handbook, and looks for tenants. This is complicated when she shows her first applicants the upstairs apartment which is unfurnished except for the dead body.
“Melanie spoke for the first time, her voice deep and husky. ‘I don’t think your last tenant has vacated, Mrs. Caliban.’
There was nothing in the goddamn Landlord’s Handbook about this.”
Cat decides she’s personally insulted by the murder. Not only did it occur in her building, but she’s appalled by the lack of interest among police or press. Despite the fact that she hasn’t yet taken karate or shooting lessons, let alone gotten a gun, Cat decides to investigate. After all, she’s read a lot of Nancy Drew. She’s bought a wardrobe of dark pantsuits like V.I. Warshawski. And most importantly—she’s a mother.
‘Hell, I’d investigated things all my adult life. Who left the freezer door open so all the ice cream melted. Who left their new purple T-shirt in the washer so that everybody’s underwear turned lavender. Who drew stripes on the cat with Marks-a-Lot. Why couldn’t Fred ever think of anything to give me for my birthday.”
Along with plenty of snark, granny jokes, and a fair sprinkling of f-bombs, the mystery unfolds in standard Murder-She-Wrote formula. After a longish initial bit of tell that might have been better worked into the action later in the book, Cat discovers the murder and begins investigating.
The police, naturally, tell her to back off and leave the investigation to professionals. Equally naturally, Cat ignores them as she gathers her posse of tenants and friends, uncovers another murder, and slowly unravels a web of lies and star-crossed love that includes a Hollywood star, an arab sheik, a retired sewer engineer, a missing fabled emerald necklace, and a sizeable portion of 1980’s Cincinnati street population.
Tracking clues takes her through much of Cincinnati’s neighborhoods. But it’s her experience as a mother that lets Cat figure out who the murderer must be and what happened to the missing treasure.
In One For The Money, author D. B. Borton takes just enough liberties with the standard detective formula to have me rooting for Cat and her unlikely assistants. I particularly enjoyed her confidence in herself, her ‘because-I’m-the-mother-and-I-say-so’ approach to crime solving, and her conviction that a lifetime of reading Nancy Drew, decades of motherhood, and The Landlord’s Handbook are the perfect preparation for her life as a detective.
“Suspicion is second nature to any woman who’s raised three kids.”
Meet Cincinnati’s newest, oldest, funniest detective-in-training. After decades of marriage, motherhood, and grandmotherhood, Cat Caliban is looking for a new career. Detective work seems a logical choice. So, she sells her suburban house, buys an apartment building in a “transitional” neighborhood, and begins her training, only to discover a dead body in an upstairs apartment. What’s the connection between a murdered homeless woman and the Golden Age of Hollywood silent movies? Cat must discover it before the killer can strike again.
In this first book of the popular Cat Caliban series, Cat assembles her colorful cast of helpers and neighborhood hangers-on. This senior sleuth challenges stereotypical portrayals of older women generally and older women detectives in particular. This book is rated PG-13 for language.
Welcome to my second Year of Good Deeds, a challenge I set myself during April 2013. I decided to do at least one Good Deed a day for a whole year, now I an into my second year.
During my week I’ll also being updating you on My Kindness Challenge which I’m also doing. I read about a new challenge to make the world a better place to live in. “Speak Kind Words, Receive Kind Echoes” see the inspiration on The Kindness blog . During my learning process I’m donating money to charity for my slip-ups to make me work harder to achieve results. I earn no money from any of my book reviews, so having little to spare should focus my mind.
September 14th – Dark Gothic romance is Jane Godman’s book Echoes in the Darkness, Day 14 of Romancing September. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5Hk
Am putting together plans for my next tour, this one will feature mystery books and their authors and will take place in November.
September 15th – Laura E James featured in Romancing September today with her book Follow Me , Follow You. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5xp
A school morning and I’m getting to know my new set of children that I listen to as they practise their reading. This year I have twins amongst my group, luckily they are not identical. Donated a series of books to the school for their library that I had finished reading. Have been and bought a load more books again today, taking full advantage of the sales going on.
September 16th – Mary Forbes joins us on the Romance tour today with her book One Dance With A Stranger, Mary hails from Canada, it’s so great meeting all these people from across the world and bringing them together. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5yC
Getting lots of interest for the November Mystery book tour, busy sending out Q&A sheets and creating pictures to use on Twitter. I enjoy the challenge and the skills that I am learning from this task.
September 17th – Monica La Porta is the featured author on Romancing September today with her book The Lost Centurion, set in a stunning Italian landscape it mixes paranormal with hot romance. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5Er
Am off out to dinner this evening with friends, a rare treat, and it’s another good deed opportunity as it’s my turn to drive.
September 18th – E.L. Lindley is chatting about her book Dare To Lose today on Romancing September. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5DE
What a 24 hours! The blog is SO busy at the moment it’s truly wonderful, thank you to everyone who reads and reviews book, signs up for tours, comments and shares posts and tweets and everything else you do for me. So here is a little something back for anyone going through an anxious and stressful time at the moment and with children in the Uk off the University this month, I know there will be a few Mums out there in need of a little TLC, firstly why not circle the date of your birthday on every month of the calendar and give yourself a little treat once a month for a whole year. Plan out what you could do, it could be time out for yourself, meeting with a friend, 15 minutes meditation, buying a new book randomly in a genre you don’t normally read, anything, but give yourself a well deserved treat.
Have been helping out my dearest friends with some support at their own emotional times. Plus recommending books for them to read. If you want to read them too, try these, get them in paperback, you’ll want to flip back through them too often to read on Kindle.